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from Tiki huts to eco chic – Orange County Register

It has been 70 years since World War II veterans returning from the Pacific theater brought home with them a penchant for the stylish aesthetics of East Asia and Polynesia, sparking a tiki craze here in the states.
In doing so, they also brought home a strong, durable and ancient material that more recently has been adopted by the green-building movement: bamboo.
The same plant that was once used in America mostly to hoist palm-thatched roofs to create that iconic faux-Polynesian vibe has re-emerged over the last decade as a popular choice for fencing, floors, decks and more.
Bamboo is prized for its strength, versatility and eco-friendliness compared with traditional wood options. And homeowners from Southern California to Florida have once again taken to outfitting their backyards with bamboo fencing – both to create a tranquil escape and to know that they’re helping the environment by doing so.
“It’s sustainable,” said Laura Nieto, a spokeswoman for San Diego-based Cali Bamboo, one of the nation’s largest distributors of bamboo materials. “The canes can withstand hurricane-force winds, they’re naturally termite-resistant and going for bamboo means you’re going for an option where you’re not cutting down trees.”
Compared with cedar trees, which take 30 to 50 years to grow, bamboo plants can be harvested every three years without killing the plant, thereby reducing soil erosion and increasing carbon dioxide intake.
Nieto said customers also prize bamboo…

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